Youth Football Players Near St. Louis Kneel During National Anthem

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — As protests continue in St. Louis in the wake of the acquittal of a white ex-police officer who shot and killed a black man in 2011, a youth football team in a nearby suburb took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday.

Members of the Junior Comanches and their coach were filmed kneeling during the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner before a game at Citizens Park in Belleville, Illinois, the local newspaper reports.

It resembled the 2016 pre-game ritual of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who when asked about kneeling during the anthem said: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

The members of the Junior Comanches are around 8 years old. Some who have seen pictures and videos of their demonstration on social media have supported it, while others have gone so far as to call for the expulsion of the team from the Tri-County League.

Last week, a judge found former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Over the weekend, more than 100 people were arrested in protests in the city.

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(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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